Saudi is a country of extraordinary natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Still largely unexplored by international visitors, the country offers a dizzying array of experiences for the curious traveler. Explore the sights, scents and sounds of authentic souks. Bask in the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea, surrounded by a myriad corals. Walk in the footsteps of ancient civilizations. And, wherever you go, experience the unparalleled hospitality of the Saudi people.
Whatever your pleasure, this list of Saudi’s five must-visit destinations offers you a journey you’ve never imagined.
On the outskirts of Riyadh is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Diriyah, the ancestral seat of the ruling Al Saud family. Wander through the narrow alleyways between the mud-brick houses and uncover a way of life that goes back for generations. Explore the museums of Saudi culture and history, including the Salwa Palace, the most massive standing structure in the citadel. Then stroll around the local eateries and coffee shops to sample traditional Najd delicacies, surrounded by lush greenery, ponds, and much more. Escape to a vision of Saudi’s storied past.
AlUla is a stunning destination embracing 200,000 years of human history, breath-taking natural rock formations, iconic modern architecture and Hegra, one of the most recognizable images of Saudi. Explore more than one hundred, monolithic rock cut tombs carved by the Nabateaen civilization. Read the history of the region recorded in ancient inscriptions on the surrounding cliffs. And marvel at the mirror-clad Maraya Concert Hall – one of the world’s most Instagrammable buildings. Explore a world like no other.
The ancient center of Jeddah, the Bride of the Red Sea, was built in in the 7th century as a gateway for pilgrims making their way to Makkah. The refurbished Makkah Gate today serves as the entrance to an intriguing and cosmopolitan blend of ancient and modern. Browse through the colorful Souq Al Alawi, Saudi’s largest souq, which fills the narrow alleyways, with the scent of exotic spices and a kaleidoscope of colorful wares.
Visit the heritage houses, galleries and museums among the intricately designed 500-year-old buildings, built using coral from the Red Sea. And finish your day with a sumptuous meal of fresh seafood as you look out over the waters of the Red Sea. An experience to delight all the senses.
The City of Roses
Journey to the cool northern mountains to experience Taif, the City of Roses. In the spring, the clear mountain air is infused with the scent from more than 90 rose farms which give the city its name. Taif produces some of the world’s most expensive rose oil which is an ingredient in luxurious perfumes from around the world. Local rose water is also an ingredient in Taif’s cuisine. the renovated city center houses the Taif Central Market where you can browse traditional goods, such as jewelry, oud and healing herbs. A true breath of fresh air.
The Red Sea
The Saudi Red Sea is a natural treasure house of thriving coral reefs and abundant marine life including dolphins, dugongs and sea turtles. Extending 1,700km from the Gulf of Aqaba in the north to the Farasan Islands in the south, the eastern reaches of the Red Sea are a stunning destination for divers, snorkelers and ocean enthusiasts. Whether you want to enjoy a scintillating sunset by the beach, explore the pristine reefs or dive on one of the coast’s enigmatic shipwrecks, the Red Sea is a destination like no other in the world. Immerse yourself in unforgettable natural beauty.